I don't see how he is differently bad. Libertarian = advocating a much smaller government and less policies.
The 43 number is one of Gary Johnson's corner stones of his campaign. The fact that you didn't look further into it means I know have to explain a lot of details I shouldn't have to.
If you look up "43 cents on every dollar" in Google, you will find a LOT of sites/PDF files explaining that "the US borrows 43 cents of every dollar it spends". So in other words, for every dollar we spend on defense for Iraq or Afghanistan and for every dollar we spend on Medicare, we are borrowing 43% of that spent dollar from China (who is one of the largest holders of our debt btw) and several other foreign countries.
The issue with the above, is you have to keep the interest up for people to buy your debt. If they think you are going bankrupt, that you have no interest in paying back your loan, or that you will devalue your currency then you will lose interest in people buying your debt. The problem with that is, if people do not buy our debt, we WILL be bankrupt as a nation.
So Gary Johnson's case/stance/etc is that we need to prevent that and prevent that ASAP.
While cutting federal funding for science programs, military funding, and medical assistance seems crazy, irresponsible, or other wise illogical, if you look at the financial state of his country, we simply cannot afford to keep spending and printing money.
Also, this is based less on fact and more on preference: Do you prefer socialism, or capitalism? In other words, do you prefer taxes, or keeping money to yourself and being responsible for yourself? I prefer the later. I'd rather not support that lazy person on welfare of the old person who can still walk perfectly fine but applies for a $10,000 scooter through Medicare just because they can (and most often get accepted ... although sometimes they do have to apply for it more than once to cheat the system).
If we cannot agree on the above points, then what I post below will simply end up in disagreement again. I have at least one liberal friend who thinks we can print money for ever and that our debt means nothing. If you fall into his category, then there is no need to continue this discussion further.
I will respond to some of the points.
* Gary see's marriage as a religion deal that should not be used as a federal standard. He promotes civil unions instead and that both hetero and homo should be using that stance rather than marriage. So in other words, he does SUPPORT GAY CIVIL UNIONS. He DOES NOT SUPPORT MARRIAGE AS A FEDERAL STANDARD BUT RATHER LEFT TO RELIGION (since marriage is based on religion this makes sense to me and i would hope it would make sense to you as well). If you watched his videos and read into his site you would know this and that your posted statement is incorrect.
* Good point on University run stem cell research. I'm not sure if that is his intended consequence or if he simply wants to limit subsidizing it with grants to corporations researching it. I would agree with the later.
* Since he would use Marijuana taxes (arguably a possibly HUGE amount of funds) and at the same time attempt to balance the budget by cutting Defense and Medicare by 43 percent, I would argue that he would be extremely fiscally responsible (more so than any previous Administration)
* He explains on his site why Obamacare is a bad idea and why it would cost the Government WAY more to continue it than it would to get rid of it. As such, the healthcare forms were NOT financially responsible. If you have a question as to whether his arguments are correct, please make sure you read that section and quote it from the site or other article based on Gary Johnson for me to find a source for you.
* I apologize that i did not explain my father is retired and previously worked for social security. As such, he has first hand experience of the abuses of the system both due to retiree ads for Medicare and actual experience with Social Security. But here's a source for you. There are many other expensive items that Medicare pays for that I would argue are not needed for most cases. Such expensive purchases should be cut completely, or further scrutinized.
* One example of abuse for you There are better examples, but I didn't want to spend more time on this point until I see if you are more serious about this conversation. Also, you can control debt *gasp* TWO WAYS. Tax more, OR spend less...
* After reading this I more or less agree with you that without increasing public school funding, this would be a poor idea. Although implemented properly or the way I described, it could benefit greatly. Someone had explained to me of the voucher system used in either Arizona or New Mexico (I cannot remember which), but they mentioned that they could use it regardless of which PUBLIC school they attended and could use it to escape the limited school zone they purchased their house in. Perhaps that's more of a hybrid system, but I could not find such a system mentioned looking up vouchers. I will, however, point out that even without the voucher system in place, those "religious nuts" are already limited actual education in favor of creationism at a local or state level. I fail to see how a voucher system would increase the stupidity. With any luck, perhaps those nuts would find themselves in the minority.
* How have we not already over stayed our presence in Iraq or Afghanistan and how could we not still keep an eye on them or use a lesser force to keep things more secure in the area? I fail to see why we need to keep such large forces there at this time especially with our nations debt at a tipping point.
* Please point out these other statements that suggest privatising Social Security.
* This can be debated. I seem to remember that Ford was no where near the dire situation as GM. Although, I do believe that GM would have found it impossible to survive without assistance (Ford easily could have picked up this slack). There would have been even larger amounts of job losses as well, but most of them were related to costly Unions which are part of this issue to begin with. Gary thinks that the car industry would have fallen harder, but bounced back quicker and supplied even more jobs than it does today. I could not argue this point in favor of Gary without building a research paper of its own. I refuse to do that, but I will say that i believe in capitalism and that subsidizing the industry was the result of socialism, which I disagree with.
I believe that he polls well in New Mexico where he ran two terms signifies that he does merit high office.
Once again, however, I would like to hear: Do you prefer socialism over capitalism? Do you agree that the nations debt needs to be paid off?
My answers to the above (just to make it more clear) are that: I prefer capitalism and so therefore believe that the nation needs less regulation and subsides; I believe our debt not only needs to be paid off, but that it needs to be paid off ASAP and that I would prefer to do it by cutting tremendous amounts of spending rather than increasing taxes (except for Gary's idea of taxing and regulating marijuana use which I think we should have been doing for years).