I’m all for outside-the-box thinking. Fresh ideas and brainstorming are as important in business. But sometimes an idea comes along that is so bad—so half-baked and ill-considered—that it should be politely heard…and then squashed outright before it has a chance to gain any traction.

In case you missed it, the U.S. Postal Service is thinking of getting into the banking industry. The Office of the Inspector General recently recommended that the Postal Service offer financial services, such as prepaid debit cards, loans, etc.

Well, I guess if the Postal Service’s primary business and expertise of selling postage stamps and delivering junk mail can’t balance the books, why not financial services? I mean, banking is a piece of cake, and there’s hardly any risk involved, right?

The truth is that this proposal is a dead letter. It raises a pile of problems and appears to be a last-ditch effort to save the struggling government agency from bankruptcy and taxpayer-funded bailouts