. . . In a hearing he was chairing, Rep. Paul Simon (D-Ill.) said he attended an opera in a small town in Germany last Christmas and was so impressed by one tenor that he wrote a letter asking about him. The reply said the singer was an American who had moved to Germany because he couldn't make a living singing in the U.S. "Isn't that pathetic?" commented concert pianist Andre' Watts when Simon told the story before his House subcommittee on postsecondary education, which authorizes and supervises federal spending for the arts and humanities. Watts, who was in town playing with the National Symphony, said, "I'm here to plead that the arts get a bigger share of the budget pie." He added he thought American education was too "flexible" and that children should be given a "regimen" of classical music and fine arts just as they are required to learn math. Simon seemed sympathetic to Watts' views, and at the same hearing pressed Francis S.M. Hodsoll, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, and William J. Bennett, chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, on whether they had adequate funds with cutbacks mandated by the Reagan administration. Both said yes. Hodsoll said that while NEA funding and staffing is shrinking, private donations to the arts are increasing dramatically. Bennett said the NEH has enough money "to fund what should be funded." Then why, Simon asked, did the NEH approve only two of the 20 applications from his home district in 1982 when two of six applications from the district were approved before Bennett became chairman? "We haven't been overwhelmed with high-quality applications," Bennett responded. "We funded every proposal rated excellent" by the expert review panels.