Coming back to my headline quote, my Penguin translation produces the far less memorable The danger now was not so much misbehaviour as the law, and is largely talking about informers, and use of the law for personal gain in disputes. If you read the text in context that fits rather well as a replacement for the text in bold:
It was next proposed to relax the Papia Poppaea law, which Augustus in his old age had passed subsequently to the Julian statutes, for yet further enforcing the penalties on celibacy and for enriching the exchequer. And yet, marriages and the rearing of children did not become more frequent, so powerful were the attractions of a childless state. Meanwhile there was an increase in the number of persons imperilled, for every household was undermined by the insinuations of informers; and now the country suffered from its laws, as it had hitherto suffered from its vices.And the point of all this? Well, it is interesting. Or so I find. That there were laws against celibacy which could lose you your property reminds us how weird the olde folke were. Which ought to also remind us that reading their words under layers of translation and attempting to understand them is likely to be difficult. By which I mean there's no harm in using a snappy slogan, but attempting, implicitly, to use the authority of Tacitus on your side is dubious. And if there's a motto from Tacitus, it is that individual corruption and loss of morality in public life is fatal; hmmm, what does that bring to mind?