Rick Perry’s Flat Tax Plan, Japanese Governor’s Plan for Earthquake Reconstruction, Halloween Spending, and Rita Moreno: Today on Here and Now

by Laura Ellis on October 25, 2011

1:06: Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry is hoping to lift his poll numbers and is rolling out an economic plan today that includes a flat tax proposal. It also includes private retirement accounts for Social Security and a lower corporate tax rate. He’s branding it the “Cut, Balance, and Grow” plan. We’ll learn more about it and what responses have been.

1:12pm: In Japan these days, there’s a sense that the post-earthquake and tsunami reconstruction is just as stalled as the economy, which has been in a slump for the past two decades. But not if the governor of Miyagi Prefecture, ground zero for the March 11th disaster, has anything to say about it. He has a plan, and a promise: Governor Yoshihiro Murai says he will not drink a drop of alcohol until the more than 300,000 homeless people are able to move back into permanent homes. We’ll talk about whether it will make a difference, with Aki Ito, economics reporter for Bloomberg News at Bloomberg News in Tokyo, and Jonathan Levine Ogura, an American expatriate living in Iwate, northern Japan.

1:35pm: The people who crunch the numbers on holiday spending say Halloween is an important day for retailers. The National Retail Federation says people will spend $6.9 billion this year on Halloween confections, costumes, and doodads. Beth Teitell from the Boston Globe joins us to explain.

1:40pm: Rita Moreno shares with us her memories of West Side Story and a lifetime of performing.

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