"Artistic endeavor in America is endangered by the insensitivity that the Reagan administration continues to show toward federally funded arts programs," said Rep. Thomas J. Downey (D-N.Y.), chairman of the congressional arts caucus, in a speech. "Making more cuts . . . is equivalent to tying da Vinci's hands behind his back and then telling him to paint the Mona Lisa." "That's nonsense," said arts publisher ("The New Criterion") Samuel Lipman, a new board member of the National Endowment for the Arts, in an interview. "How can you say something like that? It's apples and oranges. Cutting funding is not like stopping a person from creating. They're just not parallel acts, unless you think that money, when channeled through the state, can produce anything. Then why can't they find a cure for cancer?" Lipman referred to a congressional hearing in which actress Jane Alexander said she wakes up every morning and gets on her knees and says, "Thank you, Lord, for Congressman Sid Yates" (D-Ill.), because Yates is a strong supporter of federal funding for the arts. Said Lipman: "That is the most interesting manifestation I've ever seen in Washington of a cargo cult."