Supporting the troops…

…by allowing Reservists and Guardsmen to make up for the financial hardships posed by unexpectedly long tours of duty — by dipping into their retirement savings without tax penalties.

The overwhelming generosity of it simply boggles the mind.

And of course Democrats vote for the measure, or else they’re going to be accused of not supporting the troops.

“That is a really pathetic gesture,” said John Tanner, D-Tenn. “Active duty guard and reservists and their families are the only people in this country who have been asked to sacrifice anything, anything whatsoever.”

Employers are not required to pay workers activated to duty, nor do they have to continue providing health insurance and other benefits. Employers are required to give the same or equal job to the soldier when active duty ends.

The bill waiving penalties on early retirement withdrawals would apply to National Guard and Reserve troops activated between Sept. 11, 2001, and Sept. 12, 2005. Those military personnel would be given two years after they return to civilian life to replenish the accounts.

Democrats asked Republicans to push additional legislation supporting National Guard and Reserve troops, including better child tax credits and access to health insurance, along with tax credits for employers who make up the difference between civilian and military pay.

“It is no profile in courage for us to say you are now able to borrow money from your pension fund and can have it penalty free,” said Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y.

A few questioned whether families that borrow from their retirement funds would have the means to refill their savings accounts.