Over in Washington, D.C., Congress just passed (and President Obama signed) a $1.15 trillion spending bill, part of a federal budget that will ultimately reach nearly $3.6 trillion in fiscal 2016. With $1.1 trillion allocated to healthcare programs, more than $600 billion for Social Security, and tens of billions more for everything from highway construction to space exploration, there's a little something for everyone in the nation's new national budget.
But what's in it for investors?
After all, we pay our taxes, too. If those taxes are going to be turned around and turned right over to publicly traded companies, couldn't we just buy a few shares of those same companies and get a bit of our money back that way? Of course we can!
Even the few specifics we have read about the spending bill in the media tell us to expect hundreds of millions of dollars in new revenue flowing to Boeing (NYSE:BA) and Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT). Boeing and Lockheed are, after all, the nation's two largest defense contractors. Boeing builds the president's airplane, after all. Lockheed Martin builds the nation's top fighter jet -- and both Boeing and Lockheed Martin play leading roles in the nation's resurgent space program.
But that's just the beginning. Curious to find out which other companies are benefiting most from government spending, I recently dug into statistics provided by website BGA-Aeroweb, and identified the top 10 recipients of government contracts for 2014. This was the most recent year for which comprehensive data is available, but don't worry: The names don't change a lot. Turns out, nine of the top 10 government contractors in 2014 were also on the list in 2013... and 2012 as well.
If you, like me, like the idea of getting some of your tax dollars back via profits from some of America's most successful government contractors -- read on. In the following slideshow, you'll learn the names of each of those companies.