A consequence of the Republican Senate victory Tuesday could be a change in the tax treatment of dividends. Currently, they're taxed first as corporate profits and then again as individual income. (Ouch.) But even if there's no change, investors in this bear market have learned that companies that consistently pay dividends can cushion a rough ride. In a recent issue of the DRIP Investor (www.dripinvestor.com, 219-852-3220), Charles Carlson listed 10 companies that had paid dividends continuously for at least the past 50 years and had raised dividends annually for at least the past decade. In addition, each of the 10 offers a dividend reinvestment plan (DRIP), which allows you to get shares of stock, rather than cash, directly from the company as quarterly payouts. It's probably no coincidence that all 10 stocks have outperformed the market as a whole this year. Here they are, along with symbols, yields as of Friday, and toll-free numbers to find out about the DRIPs: Anheuser-Busch (BUD), 1.5 percent, 888-213-0964; Coca-Cola (KO), 1.8 percent, 888-265-3747; Exxon Mobil (XOM), 2.7 percent, 800-252-1800; Gannett (GCI), media, 1.3 percent, 800-778-3299; Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), 1.4 percent, 800-328-9033; Marsh & McLennan (MMC), insurance brokerage, 2.3 percent, 800-457-8968; Philip Morris (MO), 6 percent, 800-442-0077; Procter & Gamble (PG), 1.8 percent, 800-764-7483; and Walgreen (WAG), 0.5 percent, 888-368-7346. (Disclosure Department: I own shares of Exxon Mobil and Walgreen.)

-- James K. Glassman