ST. JOHNSBURY -- Bobby Pennypacker, a St. Johnsbury Academy senior from Barnet, was chosen from among 300 other Vermont high school students as a finalist in Sen. Bernie Sanders' third annual "State of the Union Essay Contest." Pennypacker was a student in Richard Walden's Government and Economics class when he wrote his essay.
"Bobby proved himself to be a top student in my class: curious, always prepared, and an effective communicator," Walden said.
Pennypacker decided on the topic of his essay as his class was studying the history of marginal income tax rates during the years since World War II.
"He was struck by how low the tax rate has been on upper levels of earned income and on dividends and capital gains during wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, in comparison with tax rates during the Cold War and the war in Vietnam," Walden said. "Bobby called for Americans to be aware of how citizens met their responsibilities in previous times of danger to the Republic, and to respond in the traditional way, by having our representatives in Congress craft a truly progressive tax rate to assure that all Americans pay their fair share to best support the military."