Actually, if you knew anything about how federal funding works (NSF, and DARPA for example... I am sure NIH et al do the same) there is plenty of oversight. Most funding grants requires to provide report and justification on how, what, and by whom each penny in the grant was spent.
As a researcher myself, I think the original poster has no idea on the amount of overhead that goes into managing a grant. $12K in the big scheme of things is not that much. A normal paper may cost triple that just on student salaries.
In fact, for each $1K of funding I get, the amount of time I have to invest in obtaining it, working with it, and then justifying it via multiple reports would make any sane person think twice about getting a PhD. Also, for each dollar in external funding, the uni most likely "taxes" you half of it. So that they can subsidize the education of little pricks like the original poster. What an honor!