The sequestration will not cause a recession. The cuts are not as deep as the advertised $85 billion. Many impacted departments have funds left over from previous years. Congress could grant the impacted Department's leadership, transfer authority to determine which programs could absorb the cuts with only minimal impact. In past furloughs of federal workers, they have received back pay. In the event that they won't, many can use vacation days and personal days.
The fact is that these cuts could be administered in ways that would not impact the American people. But, politicians are willing to allow it to happen in order to gain some political points.
Another fact is, that the sequestration is just a bargaining chip for the larger debate that happens at the end of March.