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Mad Men's Pete Campbell complains about 1970's tax rates

Thank you Matthew Weiner and Mad Men writers for another tax tidbit in last night's return of the show.

When the partners at Sterling Cooper & Partners agreed to merge their struggling agency with advertising giant McCann Erickson, they all became very wealthy.

And of course Pete Campbell, the Mad Men character we all love to hate (except when he's dancing), bemoans the burdens of his new tax bracket. His 5 percent share in the company was worth about $1.5 million.

Pete and Trudy Campbell show off their mad Charleston moves.

To keep any of it, Pete complained in last night's show, he might have to resort to buying a New York building and becoming a landlord.

My dislike of Pete aside, he had some grounds for grumbling. In 1970, when the midseason premiere is set, the top tax rate was 70 percent on, for a single filer like Pete, income of more than $100,000.

Kind of makes today's top 39.6 percent rate on ordinary income seem, well, low…unless you're in that top tax bracket. I'm sure Pete would be complaining about that, too.

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