A letter I mailed yesterday:

In “The Small Business Surtax,” (Review & Outlook, July 14th), you pointed out that looming tax hikes target small businesses. While it is true that “punitive” taxes hurt entrepreneurs, taxes are only one among the invidious measures Congress has in store for small businesses this summer.

Congress announced that next week the minimum wage will rise over one dollar. Combined with benefits like unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation taxes, as of next week businesses must pay employees a new real-value minimum wage of nearly $8.

With the wage hike, employers will only hire—or continue to employ—workers who can produce $8 an hour worth of goods or services. Denying work opportunities to workers whose skills don’t add up to $8 an hour is far from compassionate. In this economy, for the government to levy harsh taxes on capital gains and then raise the barrier to entering the work force dooms unskilled workers to the depths of more permanent unemployment. That is not the way to “create or save” jobs.

We have long been a country eager to create. If the government wants economic recovery, it’s not just taxes that hurt small businesses. Congress should stop meddling with small businesses and leave entrepreneurs to do what they do best.

Kathryn Ciano, Arlington


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