WASHINGTON (AFP) - US President Barack Obama on Thursday established a bipartisan commission charged with finding ways to reduce the gaping US budget deficit. Obama appeared with commission co-chairs, Democrat Erskine Bowles, White House chief of staff for ex-president Bill Clinton, and former Republican senator Alan Simpson of Wyoming. These are tough times, and we cant keep spending like theyre not, Obama said, before signing an executive order formally establishing the commission at the White House. The president has repeatedly complained that plans for a congressionally mandated fiscal commission were killed in the Senate by Republicans who had previously backed the idea as a way of trimming huge US deficits. The congressionally-appointed commission would have had more teeth than Obamas version, with power to force lawmakers to vote on its recommendations. The Obama administration acknowledged earlier this month that the budget deficit will swell to a record 1.556 trillion dollars in the 2010 fiscal year.