Professor Elizabeth Warren, a leading bankruptcy expert and consumer protection advocate, testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance today. The committee was hearing testimony about the economic issues facing America’s middle class.

“America’s middle class is struggling, caught in a vise of stagnant incomes and rising costs and set upon by a largely-unregulated consumer credit industry that has reaped billions of dollars in profits from families’ troubles,” Warren said in her testimony. “The economic rules have changed, leaving millions of hard-working, play-by-the-rules families caught in a battle for economic survival.”

In her testimony titled “The New Economics of the Middle Class: Why Making Ends Meet has Gotten Harder,” Warren described how debt has ballooned due to fee increases and rising costs associated with two-income households, such as childcare, transportation, and health care. Even though the average middle class income is higher than it was 30 years ago, it all comes at a price, Warren said.

Warren is the author of “The Two Income Trap: Why Middle Class Mothers and Fathers are going Broke,” and is frequently called upon to speak about the financial issues facing Americans today. She recently testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs about credit card company practices and their effect on the American consumer.

To view a webcast of the hearing titled, “Can the Middle Class Make Ends Meet? Economic Issues for America’s Working Families,” please click here. Real Player required.