With many investors on edge as to how the market will perform in the aftermath of the Federal Reserve's decision on interest rates, it might not be a bad time for long-term investors to take a look at getting defensive -- as in defense and government contractors. Having worked in the government contracts industry, I thought that David Gardner's September Rule Breakers recommendation of Orbital Sciences (NYSE:ORB) was an excellent call.

Without rehashing the merits of a buy argument for Orbital Sciences, taking a look at these government contractors is an excellent option for any investor. Aside from the old saying contending that the only certainties in life are death and taxes, one other trend that we can be fairly certain of is that Uncle Sam is not likely to cut spending anytime soon.

Year

Total Outlays/Expenses*

% Increase
From Prior Year

2006

 $2,655

N/A

2007

 $2,784

4.86%

2008

 $2,902

4.24%

2009

 $2,985

2.86%

2010

 $3,049

2.14%

2011

 $3,157

3.54%

2012

 $3,246

2.82%

*Dollar amounts in billions.

What is even more relevant than this projected trend of increased spending is the projected increases of dollars spent on defense:

Year

Defense Budget*

% Increase
From Prior Year

2006

 $410.7

N/A

2007

 $439.3

6.96%

2008

 $481.4

9.58%

*Dollar amounts in billions.

Among defense contractors that are expected to cash in would be the likes of Boeing (NYSE:BA), Honeywell International (NYSE:HON), General Dynamics (NYSE:GD), Raytheon (NYSE:RTN), and Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT). The run that these five stocks have had over the past five years speaks for itself:

Stock

5-Year Return

Boeing

202.39%

Honeywell International

176.31%

General Dynamics

108.50%

Raytheon

105.96%

Lockheed Martin

66.32%

The chance of a new political party ascending to power in the 2008 elections may be a valid concern from an investment standpoint, but it should be noted that if one were to chart the returns of each of these stocks under the Clinton administration versus the S&P 500, all five outpaced the market for the majority of those eight years.

Vice Fund stocks in general have also traditionally fared pretty well in bear market conditions. Except for Honeywell, you will find all four of the other defense contractors among the top 25 holdings of the Vice Fund (FUND:VICEX) which is up 24.6% year-to-date. So whether you are a bull or a bear, a Democrat or Republican, these defense contractors might be worth another look.

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Orbital Sciences is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Try this market-beating publication free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Billy Fisher does own shares of Orbital Sciences. The Fool has a bullet-proof disclosure policy.