The Next Step
Once we have embarked on a particular social program, it becomes fiscally responsible to minimize the costs of that program, whether by placing strings on participation in the program […] or by prohibiting activities that increase the program’s cost, or – as in this case – by taxing the activity that increases the program’s cost. In short – anything that increases the program’s cost becomes a negative externality that is fair game for regulation, prohibition, or taxation.
Let’s go one step further, though: Under the given conditions, the utility-maximizing strategy for any individual is to insist on strong state controls over personal behavior — and then to cheat on those controls as relentlessly as possible in one’s personal life.
If I have to pay for your health care, I don’t want you to drink, use drugs, smoke, have unsafe sex, or eat bacon. But given that my health care is paid for by you, you can be damn sure that I’m going to drink, use drugs, smoke, have unsafe sex, and eat bacon.