Was Jimmy Carter really so bad as president? (Economics)?
Nixon also screwed up because he contracted the money supply by having the Federal Reserve raise interest rates, enacted price and wage controls and a short time later reversed himself and goes to an expansionary monetary policy, which jacked up prices across the board. Nixon ended the dollar conversion to gold which lowered the value of the dollar.
Carter inherited an economy where inflation had been rising since 1965. He appointed Paul Volcker as chair of the Fed, who is actually responsible for bringing inflation down. It just took him until 1982 to get it done. Reagan was just going along for the ride.