It turns out that certain arms of the government are not going to receive their funding so they started their quickest way of saving money - sending the employees off on unpaid leave or furlough.
According to my calculations, based on an article in the New York Times, 784,710 of the just under 2 million employees affected will go on furlough.
784710/2000000 = 0.392355
Not much really.
So why all the furore? Maybe because Washington's trash won't be picked up.
Or is it because Al Gore might just turn off the internet as he walks out of his office?