The budget shenanigans in Washington so far haven't had an effect on the recovery, but an extended period of lower government spending and job cuts will quickly lead to economic stagnation.
The economy is a self-reinforcing mechanism, a small dip in growth will be followed by further declines, even if the first dip was meant to be temporary. With jobs growing at a very modest rate, it won't take much to bring growth to a halt.
Aside from the very real possibility of a government-induced slowdown, the economy is doing well – in the modern sense that it's growing modestly. The number of jobs in February was 1.5 percent higher than last year, a small improvement over recent months, and unemployment fell to 7.7 percent. As usual, the heavy lifting was done by the health care sector – jobs up 2.1 percent – and business services, where jobs increased 2.8 percent. Government jobs were essentially flat, and retail jobs were up 1.8 percent.