The budget is a big topic this presidential-campaign season, but I've come across a solution to our fiscal woes that doesn't get enough press -- dealing with all the dollars flushed down the toilet (sometimes literally) due to the scourge of dropped, soaked, and otherwise damaged iPhones.
According to gadget warranty outfit SquareTrade -- which also recently informed us of the most dangerous states to be an iPad or iPhone -- damaged iPhones have cost Americans $5.9 billion since their introduction in 2007.
In the great insurance tradition of painting the world as full of risk and danger at every turn, the company compiled its data by extrapolating from a survey of 2,000 iPhone users. In the last 12 months alone, 30 percent of those iPhone users have damaged their device. Based on the survey sample, SquareTrade came up with the tally of nearly $6 billion in damaged iPhone costs, including "the cost of repairs, replacements and insurance deductibles for cracked, dropped, pummeled, kicked, and water-damaged iPhones."